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For several scores of years, Nigeria has earned an appellation for herself as a showcase of Africa’s democracy. Paradoxically, every journey towards such democratic experiment had been laden with electoral violence even since the colonial days. With the rebirth of African liberalism in the 1990s, electoral violence returned in a more frightening dimension. This paper examines electoral violence in the 2007 and 2011 elections in Nigeria.
This research project is thus a search for the effect of electoral violence on Nigerian democracy.
Chapter one of the study lays an introduction for subsequent chapters. Following the background of the study, the problem statement and the objective of the study which provided basis for the significance of the study and the hypothesis were stated. The limitations of this study were also highlighted.
In the literature review as contained in chapter two, works of various authors, international and local journals were reviewed to elicit views on the effect of electoral violence on Nigerian democracy.
Chapter three, research methodology, description of population and sampling procedure for data collection were discussed. Methods of questionnaire design, determination of sampling size and questionnaire distribution were also highlighted.
Chapter four was based on analysis of data collected. This chapter was sub-divided into data analysis, hypothesis testing and summary. Percentage table, figure and narration were carefully employed for proper understanding and testing of hypothesis.
Finally, chapter five was divided into summary of findings, recommendation and conclusion.
1.1 Background of the Study
The insignificance activities, sequel to the attainment of political independence in the 1960 in Nigeria were indeed inimical to the expectations of the great nationalists, who took the pain to secure the political independence.
According to Coleman (1958), the emergent politics that rolled down to the path of electoral engineering in Nigeria from the wake of independence wore the aura of infirmity. Albeit such derailment became highly influential in the post-colonial era, the events that took place in the late 1940s, especially the formation of ethnic-based political parties offered much to the new development. Since the inception of election, elections in Nigeria democratic experience, the country have continued to endure turbulent electoral atmosphere with accompanying tension, the heightened tension created by competition for public offices has exacerbated existing conflict and also created new ones.
Bieneu (1968) maintained that the resultant problems manifested in all spheres of Nigeria’s social, economic and political life, thus giving impetus to electoral violence. To this effect, electoral violence is therefore studied in its multiple dimensions. Such endemic trend have in fact, manifested itself as a monumental phenome
1.2 Statement of the Problem
This study is an attempt to investigate the effect of electoral violence on Nigerian democracy between 2007-2011, this is because, some of the elections conducted in Nigeria recently are said to be massively rigged couple with electoral violence and fraud across the states of Nigeria.
Electoral violence as a social phenomenon which has largely prevailed in our political system is a trend which government must attempt to control if not completely abated. This study is therefore born out of the realization of the apparent invincibility of electoral violence in Nigeria.
1.3 Objectives of the Study
The study sought to know the effect of electoral violence on Nigerian democracy. Specifically, the study sought to;
1. To identify and explain factors responsible for electoral violence as experienced in 2007 and 2011 general election in Nigeria.
2. To determine the role of political parties in perpetuating electoral violence in Nigeria’s electoral system.
3. To find remedies for the persistent electoral violence in Nigeria.
1.4 Research Questions
The study will proffer answers to the following questions;
1. What is the effect of electoral violence on Nigerian democracy?
2. What are the factors responsible for electoral violence as experienced in 2007 and 2011 general election in Nigeria?
3. What is the role of political parties in perpetuating electoral violence in Nigeria’s electoral system?
4. What remedies are available for the persistent electoral violence in Nigeria
1.5 Research Hypotheses
Ho: Electoral violence undermines democratic tenets and principles in Nigeria.
Hi: Electoral violence does not undermine democratic tenets and principles in Nigeria.
1.6 Significance of the Study
This study will be of immense benefit to other researchers who intend to know more on this topic or other related topics and can also be used by non-researchers to build more on their work.
1.7 Scope/Limitations of the Study
This study is on the effect of electoral violence on Nigeria democracy.
Limitations of study
1. Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
2. Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Election: An election is a formal decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual to hold public office
Electoral Violence: The International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) defines electoral violence as any harm or threat of harm to any person or property involved in the election process, or the process itself, during the election period.
Democracy: a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held free elections
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